Journalistic Issues

By Jacob S. Lybbert | September 1, 2008 | 2:25 PM EDT

I think I've got it now. These are the MSM rules when dealing with the personal lives of national candidates and/or members of their family:

Given the chance to publicly embarrass and humiliate a Republican candidate's 17 year old daughter, do it.

If it's a moralizing former Democratic candidate for president, well, leave that to the National Enquirer.

Today, to head off the many tawdry rumors being passed back and forth between the Daily Kos diarists and their MSM fellow travelers, the McCain camp announced that Governor Sarah Palin's 17 year old daughter, Bristol, is pregnant.

By Warner Todd Huston | September 1, 2008 | 8:40 AM EDT

Many Americans have a negative image of journalists and it is one that is growing in believability and acceptance every day, especially as the New Media begins to attract more and more attention from the American people. This image of the aloof, even anti-American, journalist is becoming rote with more people all the time. Sadly, the journalists themselves seem to be uninterested in countering this appalling public image, imagining themselves above being considered mere Americans. On this subject, a recent op ed by Mark Fitzgerald of Editor & Publisher warns journalists that perception is often truth and that the penchant that journalists have for not standing proudly and patriotically during the National Anthem does not help their image any -- good advice that will be roundly ignored by journalists the country over.

Fitzgerald starts off with a bit of an untruth of his own, though I am not accusing him of knowingly perpetrating a falsehood. Saying that "There's no cheering in the press box," Fitzgerald goes on to describe journalists are perennially uninvolved and aloof from the subject of which they report. At some level this may be correct. Certainly when journalists, notoriously left-wing, cover conservatives and Republicans there is no cheering. But, as the recent example during the 2008 National Democratic Convention shows, when it is left-wing, journalists have no problem at all cheering. One need not forget the fawning the media lovingly handed to Bill Clinton to prove the cheerleading they are apt to, either.

Still, that quibble aside, Fitzgerald has a great point about how the unpatriotic attitude of journalists damages their profile. Worse, it makes people doubt journalist's work simply because their word isn't trusted not to be coming from an anti-American perspective.

By Warner Todd Huston | September 1, 2008 | 1:48 AM EDT

Milwaukee has discovered some more voter fraud with 10 more voter registration workers are being investigated by Wisconsin authorities. Fittingly, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel covered the story in its paper on August 29. Unfittingly, the Journal Sentinel forgot one, tiny aspect of the story... that the voter fraud was perpetrated by Democrats. In fact, one of the organizations, ACORN, is intimately linked with Barack Obama.

Milwaukee’s top election official said Thursday she plans to seek criminal investigations of 10 more voter registration workers, including two accused of offering gifts to sign up voters.

So, what we have here is an Old Media story about voter fraud where the salient fact that the fraud is being committed by Democrats and Democrat organizations is somehow absent from the story. What a surprise, eh?

By Warner Todd Huston | September 1, 2008 | 1:40 AM EDT

Reuters gets the award for the most misleading headline of the day with its Aug 28 story making it seem as if unemployment has wildly increased in New York State -- even calling it a "crisis" -- when there was really only a small increase. The headline would cause the casual reader to assume that the world is falling apart concerning employment rates and on top of that the badly worded headline also feeds into the Bush-ruined-the-economy meme. And we know how Reuters is always looking to smear President Bush whenever it can. Further, Reuters cites the work of the Fiscal Policy Institute without identifying it as a left leaning think tank.

Reuters headlines its New York employment piece Unemployment leaps over 20 percent in 25 New York counties. It is a shocking headline, to be sure, screaming that unemployment "leaps 20 percent." Such a wild headline would certainly cause a casual reader to assume that overall unemployment has risen by 20 to 25 percent. Contrary to the scaremongering of the headline, New York's unemployment did not "leap 20 percent" in over all numbers at all. In fact, the over all unemployment of the state has only gone up by .2 percent, from 5.2 in June to 5.4 in July. That is hardly a number to spark a "Crisis."

By Warner Todd Huston | August 31, 2008 | 11:19 PM EDT

<p><b>**Video Below the Fold**</b></p>

<p><img height="143" hspace="0" src="http://wonkette.com/assets/resources/2008/01/andrea%20mitchell.jpg" width="125" align="right" border="0" />Tom Brokaw's Meet the Press this week was as prosaic as ever, but for one little line uttered by the increasingly partisan Andrea Mitchell. In a discussion about the McCain VP pick of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, guest Doris Kerns Goodwin, plagiarist/historian, said that the choice of Palin is a "very strange choice," showing how little she bothered to even think about the facts. But the most outrageous analysis came from Mitchell who said that only uneducated, female voters will be drawn to Sarah Palin, not those smart, college educated ones. </p>

<p>At about 5:57 into this clip Andrea Mitchell was brought onto Meet the Press with Goodwin, David Gregory and host Tom Brokaw to tell us all that Sarah Palin will only appeal to uneducated women, not educated ones. </p>

By Warner Todd Huston | August 30, 2008 | 9:57 AM EDT

Taking a look at the stories in the Old Media will show that the Media is turning attack dog ASAP on McCain's choice for vice president, Sarah Palin. Notice the main meme is her supposed "inexperience." Funny how Palin was the VP pick for about 15 seconds before the Old Media went after her "inexperience" while they have yet to hit Barry Obama on HIS inexperience at all and he's been running for president since 2004. We should also note that Palin didn't get the honeymoon that Biden got when his announcement was made. But, the worst is yet to come and the Daily Kos is doing its level best to mine the lowest of lows. In a Kos diary today, it is being alleged that Sarah Palin "faked" the pregnancy of her last child, a baby born with Down's Syndrome. The claim is that it was her teenaged daughter's child, not hers. And, true to form, the Kossacks took that absurd calumny and hate even further in the comments.

With all the pseudo gravity the Kos diarist could muster, this ridiculous story of a "cover-up" was floated for the foolish Kossacks to lap up. Inky99 gave us the scurrilous diary headlined "Palin's faked 'pregnancy'? Covering for teen daughter?," in which the Kossacks posit that Governor Palin covered up her own teenage daughter's teen pregnancy by pretending it is her own child instead of her daughter's.

By Warner Todd Huston | August 30, 2008 | 9:49 AM EDT

The folks at Yahoo News Photos section must have been greatly amused by their web page titled "Anthropology & Archaeology." The first four pictures in the slide show are various archaeological discoveries... well, except for the third one. THAT one happens to be a photo of John McCain. Yes, Yahoo seems to be saying that John McCain is an archaeological artifact! Nice ageist slap, eh?

Here's a screen shot of the original page...

By Warner Todd Huston | August 29, 2008 | 5:33 AM EDT

Some how, the Old Media has missed the good news on Iraq. On August 27, the Rasmussen polling organization published a poll that showed American confidence is at its highest level ever in support of the War on Terror since they've begun tracking in January of 2004. This poll got little notice by the Old Media, of course, but it illustrates an issue that McCain should exploit to his benefit -- especially after Obama's acceptance speech last night.

Rasmussen found that Fifty-four percent of American voters now think that the U.S. is winning the war in Iraq and forty-eight percent think the situation will get even better in the next six months. Further, Rasmussen reports that this turn around in public opinion has been sharp when just last year only twenty-seven percent thought things were going to get better in Iraq.

Ominously for the Obama campaign, the poll also found that sixty-two percent of men agree that the U.S. is winning the War on Terror while forty-six percent of women do. Less than a quarter of women now think the terrorists are winning with just fourteen percent of men feel that way.This growing support augers against Obama's continued anti-war stance.

It all points to two salient facts: the surge worked and we've won the war in Iraq. And people are starting to notice.... not that the media is.

By Warner Todd Huston | August 28, 2008 | 11:40 AM EDT

<p><b>**Audio below the fold**</b></p>

<p><img height="88" hspace="0" src="http://www.theupkeepers.com/wgnradio.jpg" width="150" align="right" border="0" />Members of Barack Obama’s campaign HQ in Chicago tried to shut down a local radio show on the City's most powerful radio signal, WGN 720, because they didn't like a conservative guest that was on going on the air to discuss Senator Barack Obama's ties to local terrorist William Ayers. This is a shocking attempt at stifling political free speech and a bald attempt to quash debate by the office of the Democratic Party's nominee. The funny thing is, WGN is the most liberal station in the City with every host but one slavishly supporting the junior Senator from Illinois. </p>

<p>Show host <a href="http://wgnradio.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=48... Rosenberg</a>, the station's only conservative leaning host (probably to be considered more libertarian than Republican), had on short notice asked conservative writer Stanley Kurtz to come on the air to discuss his work on uncovering Obama's ties to terrorist Wiliam Ayres and the Annenberg Challenge project. Kurtz was just in Chicago for his investigation and Rosenberg contacted Kurtz only that morning to appear. At the same time, Rosenberg's producer contacted the Obama campaign's HQ -- which is but blocks from the radio station in downtown Chicago -- to offer some time on the air with Kurtz to debate Kurtz' claims about Obama and Ayres. The campaign, however, flatly refused the offer of the equal air time and instead tried to drum up via email a protest of the show, trying to get it stopped. </p>

By Warner Todd Huston | August 28, 2008 | 9:11 AM EDT

More bad news for the newspaper industry. Anyone paying attention to the current state of financial distress in the print news industry will realize that saving money is the order of the day industry wide. Yet, not long ago the Associated Press announced that it was to raise its prices to the print news industry causing consternation everywhere. This new rate structure has caused quite a few newspapers to begin the process of dropping AP content giving pause to consider what the future of the AP might become?

Several papers have already announced that they are preparing to drop the AP, the latest of which appears to be the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. The Minnesota paper has announced it will cease using AP content by 2010. The Star-Trib joins The Bakersfield Californian, and two papers from Washington State, The Yakima Herald-Republic and Wenatchee World. Also The Post Register of Idaho Falls informed the AP that they were going to drop their service in early August.

By Warner Todd Huston | August 28, 2008 | 2:26 AM EDT

Chris Redfern, the Democratic Party Chairman of Ohio, apparently thinks that Americans are so stingy and selfish that the only way charity work gets done is if government taxes the people to make it happen. In a recent radio interview, Redfern expressed the assumption that "unfortunately most Americans would not" help out the poor. Even worse, Redfern honestly believes that freebies and charity work is just as much the proper role of government as funding the "military, law enforcement, and fire protection," proving he hasn't a clue what the proper role should be of the government America's founders created.

In an interview with Toledo radio station 1370 WSPD, Redfern made the outrageous comments on how selfish Americans are and how we need government to force us all to care for, as he put it, "the least among us."

By Jacob S. Lybbert | August 27, 2008 | 12:56 PM EDT

Wild swings in polling results have been an ongoing big story this election cycle. The LAT, as Dave Pierre pointed out a week ago, experienced a huge shift in their polling away from their man, Barack Obama, and were left scrambling to come up with a solution. But the LAT is not alone. Last month, P.J. Gladnick highlighted a similarly drastic shift in the Newsweek poll.What, then, are we to conclude from this polling data? Are Newsweek and the LAT biased in favor of Barack Obama and other Democrats?Pollster.com sought to answer that question by running regression analysis on every last bit of polling data they could get their hands on. They found clear divergence in the polling data away from their trend line. Not surprisingly, the results showed polls slightly skewed in favor of both candidates. Pollster.com's, Charles Franklin, chooses to refer to these differences as "house effects" rather than bias.